Workers' compensation is a specialized type of insurance for people who are injured in work-related accidents. California requires that all employers carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees. Benefits under workers compensation include medical costs and wage replacement. In some cases, workers' compensation might include death benefits for surviving family members of employees. The main benefit of workers' compensation for employers is that their employees, by accepting workers' comp benefits, are no longer allowed to file lawsuits against the company. In turn, employees get the benefit of having their work-related injuries paid for by their employer's insurance.
Sometimes, there are issues that can arise with workers' compensation insurance. For one, your claim might be denied for some reason. Your employer or the insurance company might claim that you failed to file on time or failed to accurately report the injury. Your claim might also be denied if they believe that your injury did not take place in relation to your job duties. If you are facing complex issues involving your workers' compensation claim, then a Santa Clarita workers' compensation attorney from The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus can step in and fight to see that you get properly compensated.
Recently, California Governor Jerry Brown passed the Senate bill 863 in regards to workers' compensation reform. The bill was signed into law on September 18, 2012 and makes numerous changes to the current insurance system.
According to the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR),
The bill makes wide-ranging changes to California's workers' compensation system, including increased benefits to injured workers and cost-saving efficiencies. The bill takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013, although not all of its provisions will be effective immediately.
In regards to permanent disability benefits, both the minimum and maximum weekly amounts have been increased. This bill also established a "Return to Work Fund" which allots $120 million to injured workers with a low permanent disability rating. To learn about the full extent of these changes, visit the California DIR website.
Injured workers are only allowed to receive medical treatment benefits that are in correlation with their injuries, as per California's evidence-based medical treatment program. Employers may use what is called "utilization review" (UR). This process involves monitoring medical treatment and the treatment's effectiveness in order to ensure that there are no insurance abuses happening. If an employer comes to believe that workers' compensation benefits are not appropriate, then a dispute may occur. When this happens, a qualified medical evaluator may have to step in and evaluate the case in order to deem whether or not the treatments are appropriate for the injury.
Again, according to the California Department of Industrial Relations,
Getting employees back to work after an injury is one of the most important goals of the workers' compensation system. Workers who return to the job as soon as medically possible have the best outcomes: They recover from their injuries faster and suffer less wage loss.
If you were recently injured in a workplace accident and have encountered problems along the way, feel free to contact a Santa Clarita workers' compensation lawyer from our firm today. Our firm will fight to see that you get your deserved benefits and can get back to work as soon as possible. Our goal is your recover, both physical and financial. Don't hesitate to contact our firm today!